Today President Obama spoke with Ohio Governor John Kasich, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, and West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to receive an update on the severe storms that impacted a series of Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states overnight, and to express his condolences for the loss of life and his concern for individuals and first responders still confronting the destruction and loss of power that is impacting communities as a result. The President told the Governors that he has directed FEMA to ensure they continue to provide necessary support to state and local officials in impacted areas as they respond to these events, especially considering the power outages and the high temperatures many of the impacted areas are currently experiencing. The President also asked the Governors to make sure they continue to identify additional needs as state and local teams respond to the storms.
The President also received an update from FEMA Administrator Fugate on impacts and response activities in states, including parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, as well as the District of Columbia.The President asked Administrator Fugate to stay in close contact with our partners on the ground to make sure FEMA and federal partners are providing all available support, and to keep him updated as the response and recovery continues.
Earlier today, the President declared an emergency exists in the State of West Virginia and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts as the state continues to respond to the storm. FEMA has also deployed an Incident Management Assistance Team to West Virginia to work side by side with the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as it continues to respond and identify potential needs from the storm outbreak, and at the request of the State of Ohio, a FEMA liaison officer has been deployed to the Ohio state emergency operations center to support state response efforts as needed. FEMA has activated its National Response and Coordination Center (NRCC) at FEMA Headquarters in Washington DC, and Regional Response Coordination Centers have been activated in its Region III headquarters in Philadelphia, PA and Region V headquarters in Chicago, Il to support local response efforts. Additional support is being coordinated through FEMA with other states as well.